In several cultures around the world, birthdays, anniversaries and festive occasions like Christmas are often associated with an exchange of gifts. Even when you have your parents visiting you, they usually bring you a present. It therefore feels quite natural for the mind to associate these moments with presents and one looks forward to receiving them.
Over 50% of the population spends an average of $750 to $1000 on Christmas presents, while others spend around $500. Regardless of the bracket you fall into, one thing is common – the amount of time you spend on buying those gifts is quite high and cuts out a meaty chunk from your daily routine for a few weeks till you have all the presents sorted and ready.
While all this sounds fine, I want to question the concept of ‘Presents’ being the real gift. Are these presents the real gifts? Or is there something more meaningful, much deeper and more priceless than the gifts that money can buy? I truly believe, the true gift is in the PRESENCE, more than the present.
When we truly want to gift someone something very precious, we must gift them the gift of presence – that is gift them our TIME. Because the real spelling of the word LOVE is T.I.M.E
The festive and holiday season gives us time to catch up with pending tasks and tick off some of our oldest to-dos. But this time is also an opportunity to connect with loved ones who have been lost in the race of time, just like us. Whether it is your child, parent, sibling or friend – everyone is running the race of time. While we can delegate most things, we cannot delegate the TIME that we need to spend with a loved one.
Is there a way then, where we can create more time? Time for you and time for those who matter to you? Sidra says there are 4 ways in which you can create more time.
- Start doing something
- Stop doing something
- Do less of something
- Do more of something
Instead of waiting for last minute shopping, it is better to understand that perfect planning prevents poor performance. Begin by making a list of important days and dates, plan the gifts you want to buy for that person, buy it, gift wrap it and get this chore out of your to-do list. Most often, we end up giving an expensive gift to a loved one, as a way to hide our guilt for not spending enough time with them. Imagine this – a teenager getting a smart phone on his birthday, so he can have some entertainment and flaunt an expensive phone, only because you as a parent, don’t have the time to spend with your child – thanks to your work routine that keeps you away from home for long hours and even weekends sometimes.
Instead of just spending lots of money on gifts, spend more time on planning how you can use your time together in the most meaningful, enriching and experiential way. Because remember, at the end of it all, people don’t remember what you say, how you say it or what gift you give them, they only remember how you make them feel, so make sure you give them a memory that is worth recalling – a memory of time spent together. Your presence is truly more important and way more priceless than a present. So this Christmas, when you set the time out for shopping, make sure you also mark quality time that you will spend with those you love!